Originally posted on June 25, 2012
We often hear about how the family court system is biased against fathers. We often hear about cases where mothers lie about abuse, falsely claiming that the fathers abused their children. We often hear about fathers losing custody and contact with their kids despite no evidence of any abuse. What we do not hear is an explanation for why judges who know the mothers lied still tear children away from their fathers.
One judge has now given us an insight into that. Magistrate Tom Altobelli wrote a letter to two children who were separated from their father as a result of his ruling. Here is his letter in full:
Dear X and Y, after your mum and dad separated they could not agree about where you were to live. You were 10 and 6 at the time.
As a judge it was my job to make this decision. I had a lot of help from the lawyer who was representing you, and each of your parents, as well as an expert child psychiatrist.
Even with all of this help it was a hard, sad case to decide. This letter is to try to explain my decision to you, even though you probably won’t read it for many years.
The most important thing I want to tell you is that both your mum and dad love you very much.
They loved you from the day you were born, love you now, and will love you for the rest of their lives. Just because your dad may not have been around for a while, it does not change that he loves you.
At the time I had to decide the case your mum believed in her heart that your dad hurt you.
My job is to look at all the information, and listen very carefully to what everybody says including the experts.
I decided that you had not been hurt by your dad. Even after I told your mum what I decided, I think she still believed in her heart that your dad had hurt you.
This just goes to show that sometimes words do not change a person’s heart.
At the time of the case both of you were saying things, and doing things, that told me you did not like your dad, and did not want to spend time with him.
I don’t think you really meant this. I think maybe you were picking up the things that mum was worried about.
I listened to what you were saying, but in the end the hard decision I had to make was not because of what you were saying or doing.
I told you this was a hard, sad case to decide.
I decided that even though your dad really wanted you to live with him, it was best that you lived with mum, even though this might mean moving away from where you lived at the time.
I knew your mum would look after you really well. I decided not to make your mum let you see your dad, even though your dad wanted this very much. I thought it would make things harder for you if I had done this.
By the time you read this letter I think you will be old enough to make up your own mind. I hope you will think about contacting your dad and getting to know him again.
There are people called counsellors who can help you with how you feel about this, and help you to make it happen.
Please remember that both your mum and dad love you very much, even if they love you in different ways.
Let us just take this step by step. Altobelli knew the mother lied about abuse. He knew that she had turned the children against their father. He knew that the children were just saying what their mother wanted them to say. He knew that their mother had convinced herself that their father was abusive and would continue to believe that no matter what. He knew that she would continue to tell the kids these lies. And yet he not only ruled to give the mother sole custody of the kids, but also allowed her to bar the father from seeing the children at all. Now Altobelli writes this hollow letter years later to the kids basically explaining that even though he deliberately ruined their relationship with their father by letting their mother keep them and feed them lies they should love their father and reach out to him?
And just to put this in perspective, the mother had no evidence of any sexual abuse. This is all she had:
The mother became convinced the father had sexually abused their daughter, a view she reached after her own mother had seen a clairvoyant who had predicted the abuse.
The mother was given sole custody because the court ruled she was the better parent.
“Despite the mother’s grossly distorted lens through which she views the father and the events that bring this matter to court, she is a more than adequate parent,” Mr Altobelli wrote.
“Indeed that parenting capacity will most likely increase with relocation. Despite the father’s good intentions, optimism and courageous position in this case, I am far less satisfied about his capacity to parent these children on the facts of this case.”
Really? This is a woman who made a judgment based on what her mother told her a fortune teller said, and she is the better parent?
This is the kind of thing scores of fathers go through. This is why we need a father’s rights movement. We have judges intentionally ruining children’s relationships with their fathers with the full knowledge that the mother will continue to poison the children against these men.
Altobelli may think he has done the noble thing here, but what does he honestly expect to happen? These kids have been told for years that their father is a monster and an abuser. Does Altobelli really think his moronic “Don’t hate your Daddy even though you Mum says so” letter will change that?
If I were the father in this case, I would sue the court and have this magistrate removed. It is clear from his letter that he was biased in favor of the mother. His ruling was not impartial nor was it fair. This magistrate ruined this father’s relationship with his children. There is no fixing that. All the years that he could have spent some time with his kids are lost. Altobelli should pay a price for that because this is not the way the legal system should work.